A Mother’s Love, as Evidenced by a Banana



In April, Caroline and I flew to Texas for my best friend’s wedding. At 11 months, it was Caroline’s first time on a plane, and my first time taking her on a trip by myself. Being the Type A planner that I am, I researched everything I could get my hands on regarding flying with a baby and even managed to find tickets that would mean we were taking off at lunch time (a bottle to handle the changing pressure on taking off and landing!), to be followed by nap time (break for momma!). Despite my getting a stomach bug two days before leaving, we were ready to go the morning of our flight and the diaper bag is fully stocked: snacks, bottles, diaper change kits, (diaper + wipes + change of clothes in gallon zip bags), wubbanub, baby doll.

“I can do this,” I told myself.

Caroline and I arrived at the airport, checked our bag, and made it through security. Shout out to the TSA agents at RIC, by the way – they were incredibly helpful and patient with a stressed out momma. We made our way to the gate and started ingratiating ourselves with the other passengers.
And then, the announcement that everyone dreads:: our flight was delayed an hour. My perfect, precious timetable was shattered, and Caroline had her lunchtime bottle while we were sitting in the terminal. When it was finally time to board the plane, the gate agent didn’t call early boarding for those needing extra time, like a momma who has to get a car seat and a kid onto the plane.
We made it onto the plane, with me carrying Caroline in her car seat down the aisle, and got ourselves settled. You might think, at this point, that the hardest part was over (and be wondering what’s up with the title of this post). Oh no, my friends. It had not even begun.

Thankfully, Caroline did very well with takeoff, despite refusing to drink anything and only eating a handful of goldfish. Wanting to keep the rest of the goldfish in reserve, I offered a mandarin orange, which was summarily rejected. That left the banana, which I peeled and sliced before making a horrifying discovery.

There was no place to set the banana before my child, except for my hand.
Y’all, I hate bananas. As in, will not eat them in any shape, any form, covered in any otherwise delicious food, get it away from me hate them. I do not like to touch them or smell them either. So naturally, what is my child’s favorite food? Bananas. Don’t even try to tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Usually, I can make minimal contact with said banana by using a knife to slide the banana slices onto Caroline’s tray. But this time, I had to touch the banana.

You know what a baby does with a food she loves? She touches it. And gums it. And takes it out of her mouth and puts it back down. So not only was I having to hold pieces of cut banana, I was holding pieces of cut banana that my child had partially chewed.

“This is love, kid,” I told Caroline, while trying not to gag.

She looked back at me with that sweet, toothless grin, full of bananas, and laughed. Spraying bananas at me.